FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 9, 2023, Los Angeles, CA – Today, the AFI Conservatory was named the #1 film school in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the top film schools in the nation. The honor marks the second year in a row that the Conservatory has earned the top spot.
The AFI Conservatory was noted for being “the most storied [graduate school] in the country, graduating a trove of Oscar winners” and having enough faculty actively working in Hollywood to fill the Dolby Theatre. The article also featured AFI Alum and Academy Award®-nominated writer/director of TÁR, Todd Field, who shared his thoughts about the MFA program and the caliber of the filmmakers attending the film school, “If you’re at AFI, you’ve earned that spot, but so has the talented individual sitting next to you.”
The AFI Conservatory also stood out among the other film schools due to its scholarship funding – which includes the recently announced Canva Fellowship at AFI totaling $240,000 – and AFI’s financial support of the short films and thesis films that are the cornerstone of the Conservatory’s hands-on film production training.
“It is an honor to celebrate this recognition with the dedicated AFI community, including all of our Staff, Faculty, Fellows, Alumni, AFI members and donors who are passionate about educating the next generation of filmmakers and supporting the future of the art form,” said Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and Executive Vice President of the American Film Institute.
Past Alumni of this elite program, ranging from modern masters to bold new voices defining the state of the art form, include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Deniese Davis, Sam Esmail, Brad Falchuk, Affonso Gonçalves, Susannah Grant, Liz Hannah, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas, Polly Morgan, Rachel Morrison and Wally Pfister, among others.
Applications to attend the AFI Conservatory graduate film program in one of six filmmaking disciplines (Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting) open in September. Visit AFI.edu for more information.
About the American Film Institute (AFI)
The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. The Conservatory, which counts Deniese Davis, Affonso Gonçalves, Susannah Grant, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas and Rachel Morrison as Alumni, is ranked the #1 film school in America. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FEST and year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. AFI Movie Club is a destination for movie lovers from around the world to celebrate and engage with the art form every day. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including AFI DWW+ and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Letterboxd.com/AFI, Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.
About the AFI Conservatory
The AFI Conservatory opened its doors in 1969 to an inaugural class that included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. Today, the Conservatory offers a two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. In a collaborative production environment, AFI Fellows learn to master the art of storytelling, collectively creating up to 175 films a year. Fellows actively participate in the entire life cycle of a film, from development through production and exhibition.
Alumni of this elite program, ranging from modern masters to bold new voices defining the state of the art form include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Deniese Davis, Sam Esmail, Brad Falchuk, Affonso Gonçalves, Susannah Grant, Liz Hannah, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas, Polly Morgan, Rachel Morrison and Wally Pfister, among others.
American Film Institute: Shari Mesulam, [email protected]